Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fun in Delta, Utah: Football Game, Triathlon, Pizza, and Museum

 A few weeks ago the kids and I headed into Delta, Utah on a Friday afternoon to watch the Delta Rabbits play the Juab team. Our nephew and his  cousin play for the Rabbits, so we wanted to support them. Plus, the kids had never been to a high school football game, and I thought it might be an interesting cultural event for them. Unfortunately it was raining when we got there. And it never stopped, it just rained harder. I had the kids dress in their snowsuits to stay somewhat warm and dry.

At half time the band came out. I participated in high school marching band, so I was curious to see what they would do. They put on a nice program and did well despite the pouring rain.

I think the kids' favorite part was the concession stand. They went back several times to get new treats. Here they are with pacifier suckers, which they found oh so fun. We managed to stick it out until near the end of the third quarter, and then we were so drenched and cold that we decided we better leave. We had reserved a motel room for the night.

The next morning we got up early and headed over to the West Millard swimming pool for the annual Ready, Set, Tri triathlon. It's a super sprint, meaning all the distances are really short. I participated in the adult version. Once again the swimming was my best part, even though I haven't done laps in months. That muscle memory I built competing from age 6 to 19 has stayed with me!

Then it was time for the kids to compete. Desert Boy was enthusiastic, but Desert Girl wasn't so eager. It was a little chilly, and turnout was way down from last year. Only four kids were competing. They got into the shallow part to start warming up.

Desert Girl managed a smile. She loves to be in water.

Ready, set, go! The older boys started.

Desert Girl did her laps in the shallowest part of the pool. She started with some stellar doggy paddling.

Desert Boy changed to backstroke half way through.

If you've never been to the West Millard pool, it's super nice, with a shallow area, lap area, and diving area, complete with low dive and high dive. It even has a water slide and basketball hoop.

The kids swam 100 meters. Desert Boy is almost done. Then he was off, and I only saw him in the distance for the rest of the event.

I stuck with Desert Girl, who was now doing back float with kicking, but she refused to move her arms. She's just six, but we have some practice to do!

Next came the transition. We had her towel and clothes all laid out. The pants proved to be too hard to get on, so she just skipped those.

She was pretty fast getting ready to ride.

Then she was off, pink basket and all.

The bike route was around a huge block occupied by school buildings. Traffic was almost non-existent. I rode with her to keep her company.

Then came a quarter-mile run. Both kids are good runners, not super fast, but they have endurance.

We all congregated at the finish line for the prizes.

Desert Girl was first for girls, Desert Boy third for boys (which he was not happy with and we had a long talk about being a good sportsman), and I finished third overall for women. We all won medals and prizes.

We used the Lotsa Motsa gift certificate right away and celebrated with lunch. That put everyone in a better mood!

Then it was on to a trip to the Delta Museum, where we always see something different and learn something new. Some grocery shopping and time to head  home. Another fun trip to Delta! The Ready, Set, Tri is usually held the last Saturday of September, and they have a Facebook page.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Meeting Artist-in-Residence Virginia Catherall

 Textile artist Virginia Catherall was selected as the artist-in-residence at Great Basin National Park in 2016. She specializes in knitting wearable artwork that is inspired by the terrain around her. It sounded like such a neat concept, and I wanted to learn more. Fortunately, we were able to attend one of her workshops, where she gave a program about her art and taught newbies how to knit. The kids and I all gave the knitting a try, but none of us made it too far. Virginia made it look so easy, but it's definitely something that takes a little practice.

Desert Girl went on to make some string art. She had first learned this when Virginia went to the schools and did special programs for them.

 As part of the program, Virginia showed some of the artwork she had made during her three-week residency in the park. She had been in the park for a bit over two weeks, but had already made so much! She had visited the Strawberry Fire, and the blackened tree trunks made an impression on her. She made a cowl to represent them.

She had an interaction with red-winged blackbirds that inspired this shawl.

The blooming rabbitbrush inspired these rabbitbrush mitts.

She also showed quite a bit more. You can see some of Virginia's creations on Ravelry, where you can purchase her patterns. Virginia also has a blog, where she explains some of her inspiration and creations, and an e-book of a compilation of her patterns from when she was artist-in-residence on the Black Rock Desert in 2015.

Meanwhile, Desert Boy picked out a different color yarn and knitting needles and started again. And he kept going and going. And he was smiling. He had learned how to knit!

It was so nice to see the tears turn to a smile and some perseverance where I had given up. Maybe I'll give knitting another try too--or at least encourage Desert Boy to continue!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Return to Kanarraville Falls

The kids had a dentist appointment in Cedar City, which meant that I had to take the day off work and they got out of school for the day. With beautiful weather and 0% chance of rain, I thought it might be a good time to go back to Kanarraville Falls, a lovely slot canyon hike south of Cedar City. I asked the kids, and after thinking about it a little, they agreed. Last year we did this hike and all had cold feet, so this year we had neoprene socks. I also packed some extra layers in case they got cold.

Then we set off down the trail. We quickly got hot and were looking forward to the cold water in the creek.

In fact, the kids couldn't resist going down the water slide.

We continued on, finding more small waterfalls and having fun climbing over obstacles.

It didn't take too long until the creek turned and we entered the high canyon walls.

We reached the first waterfall. Some other people were climbing up the ladder next to it. Desert Boy said, "Can we go into the cave?"

"What cave?" I asked.

"The one behind the waterfall."

I shrugged. I didn't know there was one. "Sure."

The kids scampered behind the water.

Sure enough, there was a little alcove. And they were so proud  of themselves for finding it.

We climbed up and continued to another little waterfall. Guess where Desert Boy wanted to go!

A bit further on are more waterfalls that seem like they would be super fun with full sun. I convinced Desert Boy to slide down one.

Can you see his blur?

It was fun, but it was also cold, and we weren't finding much sun in the canyon now. So out came the jackets, balaclavas, and gloves. The kids started finding the drier passages through the creek.

We took a group shot before the second ladder, which has deteriorated a lot. We decided this was a good place to turn around, especially since the kids were so cold.

I did get in a few more photos.

At the top of the first ladder I saw the crazy amount of bolts everywhere. It was seriously out of control. Right above the drop I saw a yellow rope. I went and took a closer look and saw that it was the cheap rope you buy at the store that might hold 200 pounds. Except someone had girth-hitched it to each of the hangars. Girth hitching is one of the ways to reduce your strength the fastest, by \about half! Plus there were knots in the lower part of the rope as hand holds and the rope was seriously frayed. It very well could have broken with just 50 pounds on it. I didn't have a knife, but I pulled it up so at least anyone who put it down would see just how awful condition it was in. The old webbing that was being used as a handhold on the ladder side wasn't in much better shape.

I felt good about the ladder though, it seemed solid.

We warmed up as we hiked downstream and got into more sun. We started running into a few more people, as it was after school. I've seen photos from people who go on weekends, and it's a constant stream of people through the canyon, so I highly recommend trying to go at a non-peak time.

We got back to the first water slide and guess who had to give it a go! It was fun enough I went several times.

Desert Girl says she would write about this photo: "We went to a hike near Cedar City. We found a water slide. A rock water slide. It was very fun. But a bit cold."
Here's a link with directions on how to get to this hike. Make sure to check the forecast before you go to avoid flash floods, and have fun!
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